Telluride Institiute News:  Show A Little Compassion

By Dan Collins

Monk_pouring-_sand_web Does Telluride really need another festival in the middle of the summer? Probably not. Do we really need more compassion? More sharing and caring? Yes. Why? Because it's good for us and for the planet.

"How so?" you ask.

Come find out at COMPASSION FOR A WORLD IN CRISIS, the Telluride Institute's Ideas Festival 2011, taking place July 8 – 10, at the Sheridan Opera House.

It's actually not a new festival, as the Institute has offered us amazing Ideas Festivals for the past 26 years. Remember Al Gore coming to town, Michail Gorbachev?  And last year there was this group from Stanford University, CCARE (Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) who brought a dozen or so other highly acclaimed scientists to talk about THE LANGUAGE OF THE MENTAL LIFE. Dr. Doty, director of CCARE, called out, at the final evening's presentation to a room-bursting, cheering crowd: "Let's have a compassion festival in Telluride in 2011."

So, here we go.

We are expanding the group of invited speakers from scientists and neuroscientists to include teachers of the native American wisdom traditions. Grace McNeley will be here, a teacher of Navajo language, history and philosophy at Dine College.  Lorain Fox-Davis, Blackfeet/Cree, Grammy Award winner, Buddhist. WOW. And Damien Jones, a young, soft-spoken, fully initiated Navajo medicine man.  What is their view on compassion, how does it fit into their daily lives, and into their rituals? What can we learn from them?

The Tibetan Buddhist view will be represented, the Christian view, the secular view, the scientists' findings.

This is neither New Age nor pure Academia, but planned as a symposium that broadens our understanding of how compassion works and how it can better just about everything. More compassion at home? More compassion toward that neighbor? More compassion toward Mother Earth?
"Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things," said Trappist mystic Thomas Merton.

Transferable tickets are $100 for the whole package, available on-line at Tickets to individual sessions ($20 each) will be available ten minutes before that session. Tickets are also available at the Main Street table during lunch hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and at the Farmers' Market on Friday.

The full schedule of events is on-line as well. Please check it out!
More details about this fantastic event next week, right here at TIO.

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